The BTK Killer and Other Serial Murderers: An Interview with Psychologist and Author Dr. Katherine Ramsland

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Dr. Katherine Ramsland, director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program at DeSales University, also teaches the forensic psychology track. She has published over 1,000 articles, stories, and reviews, and 59 books, including The Mind of a Murderer, The Forensic Science of CSI, Inside the Minds of Serial KillersThe Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation, The Ivy League Killer, and The Murder Game.

Her book Psychopath was a #1 bestseller on the Wall Street Journal’s list. With former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary, she co-authored a book on his cases, The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us; with Dr. Henry C. Lee, The Real Life of a Forensic Scientist; and with Professor James E. Starrs, A Voice for the Dead. She presents workshops to law enforcement, psychologists, coroners, judges, and attorneys, and has consulted for several television series, including CSI and Bones.

She also writes a regular blog for Psychology Today called “Shadow-boxing” and consults for numerous crime documentary production companies.

Her most recent book (August 2016) is with serial killer Dennis Rader, called Confessions of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. She will also publish The Ripper Letter, a supernatural thriller based on Jack the Ripper lore, and a textbook, Forensic Investigation: Methods from Experts (2017).

She talks to us about the experience of working with Rader, the conditions under which she took on the project, about the psychology of serial killers, and more.

LINKS:

Website: www.katherineramsland.com

Blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shadow-boxing

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Kath.ramsland/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatRamsland

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Forensic Science Then and Now: an Interview with Jay Jarvis

Jarvis headshot

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Jay Jarvis is a native of Long Island, New York. While a student in high school, his chemistry class went on a tour of the New York City Police Crime Lab. It was on that trip that Jay decided that his interest in chemistry could be best used in the field of forensic science. After his family relocated to Georgia, Jay earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Georgia College. To better prepare himself for a career in forensic science, Jay applied for and was accepted into the graduate program in Forensic Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and received his Master of Science degree in 1979. Immediately after graduate school, he was hired at the Georgia State Crime Laboratory in Atlanta.

During his 32-plus year career, Jay either performed casework in or was a supervisor for most of the forensic disciplines. Between 1982 and 1997, he wore a multitude of hats, performing casework in firearms and tool marks, hair, fiber and glass comparisons, footwear and tire tread examinations, fire debris and explosives analysis, latent fingerprint processing, marijuana identification, presumptive blood testing and crime scene analysis for a large area of central Georgia. He has testified as an expert in Federal Court and the courts of Georgia and several other states over 750 times.

Jay also has extensive experience in crime laboratory accreditation, having served as an accreditation assessor and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), including one year as the Board Chair. He has been invited to speak at seminars and training sessions on topics related to forensic science. Jay currently lives in northwest Georgia just outside the metropolitan Atlanta area, which allows him easy access to most destinations via Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

 

 

test fire rifle Kaleidoscope 2_1 jay witness Jay on range

BOOKS:
Georgia’s Crime Doctor http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jay-jarvis/georgias-crime-doctor/hardcover/product-10639368.html

LINKS:

National Commission on Forensic Science Recommendations on Accreditation https://www.justice.gov/ncfs/file/477851/download

“Real-Life Not Like CSI on Television,” Macon Telegraph article on Jay Jarvis http://www.armaforensics.com/uploads/Real_Life_CSI-Grisamore.pdf

“Alumnus carries microscope into career,” Georgia College Alumnus article on Jay Jarvis
http://www.armaforensics.com/uploads/Alumnus_carries_microscope.pdf

Arma Forensics www.armaforensics.com

 

Personal Violence: Sex and Domestic Crimes: An Interview with Former Federal Prosecutor and Author Allison Leotta

AllisonLeotta Web

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For twelve years, Allison Leotta was a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children. Drawing on this experience, she now writes legal thrillers, for which she has been dubbed  “the female John Grisham.” Her goal is for John Grisham to be dubbed “the male Allison Leotta.”

After publishing her debut, LAW OF ATTRACTION, Simon & Schuster asked Allison to continue writing about her fictional sex-crimes prosecutor, Anna Curtis.  A series was born! There are now four books in the Anna Curtis series, and a fifth is in the works.

LAW OF ATTRACTION earned a starred review in Library Journal, which said, “In this riveting debut, Leotta joins the big league with pros like Linda Fairstein and Lisa Scottoline.” Allison’s second novel, DISCRETION, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2012 by Strand Magazine and Best Suspense Novel of 2012 by Romance Reviews Today. Her third novel, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL, was named a Best Book of 2013 by Suspense Magazine.  The fourth book in the Anna Curtis series, A GOOD KILLING, will be released this May.

USA Today says Allison’s writing is “as real as it gets.”

Allison is also a contributor to the Huffington Post, where she reality-checks TV crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU. Her own blog, The Prime-Time Crime Review, was named one of the best legal blogs in America by the American Bar Association. Allison has provided legal commentary for outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and Reuters TV.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America.

A graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Allison lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, Michael Leotta, and their two sons.

A GOOD KILLING

 

LINKS:

Allison’s Website: http://allisonleotta.com

Allison’s Blog: http://allisonleotta.com/blog/

Allison on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allisonleottabooks/

Allison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonLeotta

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-leotta/

Things That Go Boom in the Night: An Interview with Weapons and Explosives Expert and Author John Gilstrap

 

John GIlstrap

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John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of Friendly Fire, Nick of Time, Against All Enemies, End Game, Soft Targets, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat WarningHostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom.  Four of his books have been purchased or optioned for the Big Screen.  In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris.  He will co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom, which should begin filming in the spring of 2016 for a 2017 release.

A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution.  Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, weapons systems, hazardous materials, and fire behavior.  John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Friendly Fire

NICK OF TIME MM (print) (1)

LINKS:

John’s Website: http://www.johngilstrap.com

Weapons Resource: http://www.nssf.org/newsroom/writers/guide/ (a great 40,000-foot resource for writers who write about weapons)

Weapons Used in Movies: http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Category:Movie (This site allows you to pull up a movie title and see all of the weapons used.)

Building Better Law Enforcement: An Interview with Chief Scott LaChasse, Burbank Police Department

Scott LaChasse

 

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BIO:

Scott LaChasse has 36 years of experience in law enforcement and security. He joined the Burbank Police Department as Interim Chief in January, 2010 and was named permanent Chief in April, 2013.  Chief LaChasse worked for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1970-2002, most recently holding the position of Deputy Chief. In this capacity, he managed almost 1,600 personnel in South Los Angeles.

 

During his tenure at the LAPD, he held a variety of high-profile positions including Commanding Officer for the Criminal Intelligence, Narcotics, and Uniformed Services Groups. He also served as Assistant Commanding Officer of Operations for the Valley Bureau where he administered the activities of 1,800 personnel in the San Fernando Valley.

His resume includes work as the Vice President of Security and Emergency Services for Paramount Pictures and Corporate Manager for Regulatory Compliance at Southern California Edison.

Chief LaChasse is a member of several organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI National Academy Associates, California Peace Officers Association, William H. Parker Los Angeles Police Foundation, Chief Special Agents Association, California Police Chiefs Association, Challengers Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County Executive Board, and Los Angeles Police Museum Board of Directors. He also provides instruction nationally and internationally to public officials and law enforcement officers on the command of critical incidents.

Chief LaChasse earned his Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Master’s in Public Administration from The University of Southern California. A longtime supporter of forensic science in Los Angeles County, he is on the Advisory Board of the California Forensic Science Institute at CSULA and is honored in the CSFI Hall of Fame for his work on behalf of forensic science research, training, and education.

 

LINKS:

Burbank Police Department http://www.burbankpd.org
City of Burbank http://www.burbankca.gov
International Association of Chiefs of Police http://www.iacp.org
California Police Chiefs Association http://www.californiapolicechiefs.org
California Forensic Science Institute http://www.calstatela.edu/hhs/cfsi

Fact Sheet: Justice Department Counter-Terrorism Efforts Since 9/11 https://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/pr/2008/September/08-nsd-807.html

 

Follow the Money: Catching Cheaters, Frauds and Con Artists — An Interview with Securities Fraud Investigator Richard B. York (Part II)

Richard York photograph

 

Jan Burke and D.P. Lyle, M.D. interview Richard B. York in Part II, talking about Ponzi schemes, Pyramid schemes, and other financial crimes. Get an inside look at how these crimes are investigated — and as always, Richard York gives us some entertaining stories from the trenches of financial crimes investigation.

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BIO:

Richard B York began his career in Law Enforcement over forty years ago, when he became a police officer in Arkansas City, Kansas. He holds degrees in police science, criminal investigation and police administration, and received several certifications for financial crimes investigations.

From 1984-2011, he served in the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner in Wichita, Kansas, where he became the Director of Enforcement. This is the Kansas State agency overseeing registration and enforcement of investor related laws (The Kansas Uniform Securities Act).  He personally handled over 300 investigations and supervised over 1,000 investigations.  Most involved some form of fraud and overlap of other federal or state laws. Many investigations were coordinated with outside law enforcement agencies. His activities included training and supervising other investigators; working with federal, state, and local agencies; covert investigations investigations; training banking and law enforcement in S.A.R. — Suspicious Activity Reports — and government compliance; working with victims of financial crimes; case preparation and testimony in prosecutions of financial crimes.

Mr. York has been a professional musician from childhood, when he made frequent television appearances as a guitarist. He still participates in playing finger-style guitar at the Winfield Music Festival and elsewhere.

LINKS:

Click here to listen to Part I of our interview with Richard York 

www.finra.org      This link provides guidance to investors on securities brokers and securities transactions.   You can enter your broker’s name to determine if any disciplinary action has been taken.

www.sec.gov   This link is to the U.S. Securities and Exchange. Information on actions taken against violators; educational section for investors.

www.nasaa.org   This link is to an association of State Securities Commissioner’s office.  Investor education and state actions, such as criminal charges and cease and desist orders are available.  It has a fraud education center and ability to check out registered brokers.

Every state will have a securities regulator, but sometimes that office is combined with various other state functions (eg: Secretary of State; Insurance Commissioner; Dept. of Commerce; Attorney General’s Office, etc.)

To find your own state securities commissioner’s office/website, just do a Google search:  

[your state’s name] + securities

That will take you to a link that will allow you to get to your own state securities commissioner’s office and they will have postings for actions taken on suspects/companies; fraud alerts and lots of educational material.

Follow the Money: Catching Cheaters, Frauds and Con Artists — An Interview with Securities Fraud Investigator Richard B. York (Part I)

Richard York photograph

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

BIO:

Richard B York began his career in Law Enforcement over forty years ago, when he became a police officer in Arkansas City, Kansas. He holds degrees in police science, criminal investigation and police administration, and received several certifications for financial crimes investigations.

From 1984-2011, he served in the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner in Wichita, Kansas, where he became the Director of Enforcement. This is the Kansas State agency overseeing registration and enforcement of investor related laws (The Kansas Uniform Securities Act).  He personally handled over 300 investigations and supervised over 1,000 investigations.  Most involved some form of fraud and overlap of other federal or state laws. Many investigations were coordinated with outside law enforcement agencies. His activities included training and supervising other investigators; working with federal, state, and local agencies; covert investigations investigations; training banking and law enforcement in S.A.R. — Suspicious Activity Reports — and government compliance; working with victims of financial crimes; case preparation and testimony in prosecutions of financial crimes.

Mr. York has been a professional musician from childhood, when he made frequent television appearances as a guitarist. He still participates in playing finger-style guitar at the Winfield Music Festival and elsewhere.

LINKS:

www.finra.org      This link provides guidance to investors on securities brokers and securities transactions.   You can enter your broker’s name to determine if any disciplinary action has been taken.

www.sec.gov   This link is to the U.S. Securities and Exchange. Information on actions taken against violators; educational section for investors.

www.nasaa.org   This link is to an association of State Securities Commissioner’s office.  Investor education and state actions, such as criminal charges and cease and desist orders are available.  It has a fraud education center and ability to check out registered brokers.

Every state will have a securities regulator, but sometimes that office is combined with various other state functions (eg: Secretary of State; Insurance Commissioner; Dept. of Commerce; Attorney General’s Office, etc.)

To find your own state securities commissioner’s office/website, just do a Google search:  

[your state’s name] + securities

That will take you to a link that will allow you to get to your own state securities commissioner’s office and they will have postings for actions taken on suspects/companies; fraud alerts and lots of educational material.